Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Introduces Legislation to Tackle the Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in International Sports

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/12/2018, 1:03 p.m.
Jackson Lee: “Doping fraud is a crime in which big money, state assets, and transnational criminals are involved and honest ...
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

Jackson Lee: “Doping fraud is a crime in which big money, state assets, and transnational criminals are involved and honest athletes and companies are defrauded. This practice, some of it state-sanctioned, has the ability to undermine international relations, and is often connected to more nefarious actions by state actors.”

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on the Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, and Ranking Member of House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, and member of the Helsinki Commission, released the following statement following her introduction of the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act:

“In the realm of international sports, unscrupulous individuals seeking to bridge the gap between their own skill and the pinnacle of achievement turn to the use of performance enhancing drugs and increasingly sophisticated modes of concealing the use of any proscribed drugs. This practice, some of it state-sanctioned, has the ability to undermine international relations, and is often connected to more nefarious actions by state actors. This is why I have introduced the bipartisan Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act (“RADA”).

“The RADA, when acted, takes a serious step towards cracking down on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in major international competitions. The RADA establishes criminal penalties and civil remedies for doping fraud, including fines of up to $250,000 and a term of imprisonment for not more than five years. Persons injured by doping fraud, whistleblowers retaliated against because of revealing doping fraud, and athletes deprived of financial awards due to doping fraud may recover damages. The law applies to all persons participating in “major international competitions,” which is defined as any professional or amateur sporting competition in which either four U.S. athletes are contestants or two or more U.S. corporations are sponsors and athletes representing at least three countries other than the United States are contestants. A number of other nations, including Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain, have embraced criminal sanctions for doping fraud violations.

“Doping fraud is a crime in which big money, state assets, and transnational criminals gain advantage and honest athletes and companies are defrauded. Doping fraud in major international competitions—like the Olympics, the World Cup and the Tour de France—is often linked with corruption, bribery and money laundering. It is not just victory that criminals engaged in doping fraud snatch away from clean athletes—athletes depend on prize money and sponsorships to sustain their livelihoods.

“While the United States mandates rigorous testing of its athletes, condonation of international actors running afoul of global anti-doping protocols harms our country and its athlete-citizens. The United States is the single largest sovereign contributor to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and U.S. athletes and companies compete in and sponsor major international competition. Accordingly, the United States has a large role to play in ferreting out corruption in international sports. Not only do U.S. athletes lose out on millions in sponsorships, but when a U.S. company spends millions to create a marketing campaign around an athlete, only to have that athlete later implicated in a doping fraud scandal, the damage to that company’s brand can cost tens of millions.